Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Drobo launches new USB Type-C storage device, calls it “world’s first”

drobo 5 bay external storage unit usb type c 5c
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Manufacturer Drobo launched on Tuesday a storage device based on USB Type-C connectivity called the Drobo 5C. It is essentially an external storage device that can sit on a desktop and play host to up to five 3.5-inch hard drives that are sold separately. It is not considered a network-attached storage device because there is no network connectivity offered by the device, just the single USB Type-C interface.

If you are not familiar with USB Type-C, it has nothing to do with speed, but rather the physical connection itself. Standard USB connectors must be inserted into the port a specific way, which can be annoying when fumbling to plug a wall adapter into a smartphone or tablet in a dark room. USB Type-C uses connectors that can be inserted into compatible ports either up or down. They are quite thin and rectangular, too, kicking out the odd shapes currently used on mobile — except for the latest iPhones — devices, and game controllers.

The new storage device is backed by Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology. This system will protect your data when drives fail by rerouting the information to the remaining drives, enabling full access without disruption. It provides self-healing for the total capacity and what the company calls “virtual hot-spares.” Users can even switch from single to dual-disk redundancy with just one click in the provided software.

“Drobo takes the upfront guess work out of determining the amount of capacity you require,” the company states. “Buy the capacity you need today, and when you need more storage, simply replace your smallest drive with a larger one and immediately use that capacity in seconds. You can even mix and match drive brands, capacities and speeds.”

Drobo does not say what is inside the box hardware-wise, only that it features an internal battery so that the Drobo 5C unit remains up and running for a while when the power goes out. The chassis and cover are completely made of metal, and a Kensington Lock Port keeps the internal hard drives safe from thieves — lock not included. Each drive bay includes an LED indicator showing the state of the hard drive — green/yellow/red.

The unit itself measures 5.9 (width) x 7.3 (height) x 10.3 (diameter) inches and weighs 8.5 pounds without the installed hard drives. It comes with a USB 3.0 cable with a standard Type-A connector on one end and a Type-C connector on the other end so that it can be connected to any desktop or laptop that does not have a USB Type-C port.

According to Drobo, this unit will replace the original four-bay unit that hit the market nine years ago. Since that initial release, Drobo storage products reportedly have increased 10 times in read/write performance, increased 32 times in storage capacity, and decreased in price by 33 percent. Thus, because the Drobo storage line has a long history, customers owning the second and third generation Drobo 4 units will get a $50 discount when purchasing the new Drobo 5C for a limited time.

Finally, users can configure the Drobo 5C for MacOS 10.10 and higher (HFs+), or Windows 7/8/10 (NFTS). It is available for $349 though the company’s online store serving the United States and Europe, and through other online vendors such as Amazon, Newegg, MicroCenter, TigerDirect, and more.

Buy on Amazon

Editors' Recommendations

Kevin Parrish
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then…
Graphics terms every PC gamer should know
Kena Bridge of Spirits on the Samsung Odyssey OLED G9.

PC gaming is filled with jargon that mixes together marketable names with scientific descriptions to create a pile of terms that are next to impossible to decipher. Knowing the vocabulary of graphics terms is important for optimizing your performance, understanding your games, and tweaking your graphics menus, and we're here to define all of the labels flying around.

We're focusing on terms that you'll find commonly in games that don't have an obvious definition -- we trust you can figure out what "reflection quality" means -- but there may be some terms we missed. If there's something you're wondering about, click that author name on top of this article and shoot me an email.
Graphics settings

Read more
The best gaming PC Cyber Monday deals on AMD and Intel rigs
Gaming PC on a desk.

Today is the perfect day to start building your new gaming PC because of the bargains that you can get from Cyber Monday deals. To help you out, we've rounded up our favorite deals from two leading (and rivaling) computer parts makers, AMD and Intel, so you can instantly spot your favorites. When you're done shopping, we also recommend you check out the best Cyber Monday gaming laptop deals as a way to start "using up" some of the savings your making on building your desktop at this time of the year.
Best gaming PC Cyber Monday deals (AMD)

While AMD isn't as well-known as Intel regarding processors, it makes just as good, if not better, CPUs. They also tend to be a bit cheaper for the same power, so going with an AMD CPU makes sense if you want to keep your prices down. Luckily, Cyber Monday has further seen a decrease in overall prices, and you can nab very budget-friendly AMD gaming PCs.

Read more
How to save your data from Google’s purge of inactive accounts
The Google "G" logo on an Android phone.

Google is about to begin deleting inactive Google accounts, which could mean you’re about to lose photos, documents, and other data that you actually want to keep.

The good news is that there’s a way you can safely hold onto everything, but you’ll need to take action this week to be sure.

Read more